Suzanne Henriette of Lorraine
Portrait by Rigaud
|Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat|
|Tenure||8 November 1704 – 5 July 1708|
1 February 1686|
|Died||19 October 1710
|Burial||Carmel du faubourg Saint-Germain, Paris|
|Spouse||Ferdinand Charles Gonzaga|
|House||House of Lorraine|
|Father||Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Elbeuf|
|Mother||Françoise de Montault de Navailles|
Suzanne Henriette of Lorraine (1 February 1686 – 19 October 1710) was a member of the House of Lorraine and was the Duchess of Mantua by marriage. Her husband Ferdinand Charles Gonzaga was the last Gonzaga Duke of Mantua.
Suzanne Henriette was the penultimate daughter of Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Elbeuf and his third wife Françoise de Montault de Navailles. Her two older half brothers, Henri and Emmanuel Maurice were successively Dukes of Elbeuf. She was known as Mademoiselle d'Elbeuf, derived from her fathers title.
Although the Lorraine-Elbeufs were reckoned among the princes etrangers at the court of France, as a cadet branch (Elbeuf) of a non-reigning cadet branch (Guise) of the House of Lorraine, it was not their custom to marry crowned heads. Nevertheless, Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat sought Suzanne Henriette's hand in pursuit of a dynastic alliance with another reigning ducal house under French influence. She married Gonzaga in Milan on 8 November 1704 accompanied by her grandmother Catherine Henriette de Bourbon. To the French, her husband was known as Charles de Gonzagne.
The Prince of Condé (son of le Grand Condé) had proposed his daughter Marie Anne, Mademoiselle de Montmorency to marry Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga, ruler of the Duchies of Mantua and Montferrat. He had lost his first wife Anna Isabella Gonzaga and subsequent first cousin in August 1703 and was childless. Gonzaga however did have illegitimate children with his mistress Eleonora Parma, a line which died out in the mid 18th century and were not able to inherit Mantua. The couple were married in Milan on 8 November 1704. Her husband died on 5 July 1708 leaving her a widow at the age of 22.
Suzanne Henriette returned to France and was later involved in a lawsuit between Leopold, Duke of Lorraine and Anne of Bavaria, Princess of Condé over inheritance of the Guise fortune. Residing in Paris, she died there in 1710 at the age of 24. She was buried at the Carmel du faubourg Saint-Germain in the crypt of her grandfather, the Maréchal de Navailles. Saint-Simon noted that she died in the flower of her youth after a long illness and was considered to have been a beauty at the time. He also wrote that her "bizarre" marriage had been the cause of her sad life.
Titles and styles
- 1 February 1686 – 8 November 1704 "Mademoiselle d'Elbeuf"
- 8 November 1704 – 5 July 1708 Her Highness The Duchess of Mantua
- 5 July 1708 – 19 October 1710 Her Highness The Dowager Duchess of Mantua
|Ancestors of Suzanne Henriette of Lorraine|